Sartell’s Spencer Meier Captains SCSU Hockey Into Frozen Four
The St. Cloud State University men's hockey team is headed to its second-ever Frozen Four appearance after beating Boston University and Boston College last weekend in Albany, New York at the NCAA Northeast Regional.
Sartell graduate Spencer Meier is the captain of the SCSU hockey team this season as a junior. He says the fact that the Huskies have made it this far hasn't quite settled in yet.
"Honestly, I'm not sure it's settled in yet... it's super cool and I am so excited," Meier said. "Not just to go there but the mindset is to come back with a national championship."
St. Cloud State appeared to have an aggressive mindset against both Boston University and Boston College in Albany, pushing the pace and keeping the pressure on the other team even when holding a lead.
"I think we had the mindset of playing hard and it starts in our (defensive zone) where we have a mindset of close, kill and collect as quickly as possible," Meier said. "We try to go north with the puck and we don't take our time with it.
"Our forwards did a great job of holding on to the puck in the offensive zone, not just making those one-and-done plays but second and third opportunities that led to goals," Meier said.
It was Cathedral graduate Will Hammer that scored the game-winning goal for the Huskies against Boston College in the game that sent SCSU to the Frozen Four. Meier says he remembers matching up with "Big Will" when he was a young player at Sartell.
"Me and him always joke that when I was freshman (at Sartell) one of my first games was against Cathedral," Meier said. "I just look over and see Big Will and I think I was scared to play him.
"It was awesome, he works his butt off and he's a huge part of this team, so it was awesome to see him get that goal," Meier said.
It seems hard to believe that it was earlier in this same season that the entire National Collegiate Hockey Conference played its schedule in a "bubble" in Omaha, Nebraska. All eight conference teams played ten games each while being quarantined in an Omaha hotel.
The month-long hotel stay gave the team a chance to bond and had the feel of "a glorified youth tournament" according to Meier.
"You usually arrive on a Thursday and leave on a Sunday, but now you get to stay there for three weeks with your best friends and it was unreal," Meier said. "We were playing ping pong tournaments, bean bag tournaments in the hallways.. it was a wild and fun experience we won't forget for the rest of our lives."
The Huskies will depart for Pittsburgh on Monday in advance of their matchup with Minnesota State on Thursday, April 8th (4 p.m., The River 96.7 FM). The winner of the game will meet the winner of Minnesota-Duluth and UMass on Saturday, April 10th to battle for the national championship.